Sister Anne, if I have thanked you before, it’s all good but I want to thank you again. My life was/is blessed because you came my way. I won’t ever forget you. I love you. My bestest regards to the crew and happy birthday to your girls in a few days… :)
I trust that you are well. My heart’s desire is that these letters be a blessing to you and not a chore or an obligation for you to read.
Having said that, I was encouraging a sister the other day and I discovered (or concluded) that one thing the enemy has targeted in recent times, with a consistent barrage, is our FAITH in God. Once he can get you to stop believing, or to just doubt God’s ability or even His existence, he’s very close to winning the battle. We go through challenges on a daily basis, we see the proliferation of evil in the earth and the subtle question ‘hits’ our minds – “where is God in all this?”, “can’t God see what I’m going through?” – then it changes from questions to actual comments – “God doesn’t care”, “if God was as mighty as He said, I wouldn’t be going through such and such”…
As children of God, as Christians, we must recognize that those thoughts are called ‘the fiery darts’ of the enemy (Eph 6:16). Ironically, the same scripture tells us what to quench those darts with – guess what we use? Yep, the shield of faith. So the enemy keeps trying to wear down our faith because that is the shield that protects us from his attacks. (Oh, by the way, grab your bible and actually READ it, don’t just take my word for it.)
David was all too familiar with the tricks and plots of the enemy. In Psalm 11, he writes:
In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”? For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? (Psalms 11:1-3 NKJV)
Indeed, if the very beginning, foundation, root of our faith is destroyed or removed, what can we do? David faced very real physical, but also emotional (mind) and spiritual battles. He consistently reminded himself of things God had done in the past and the things God was doing in the present. I believe this is a necessary part of strengthening our faith – we must remind ourselves constantly of God’s faithfulness in our lives, remember the times He came through for you.
Another trick (or device) of the enemy is to get us so wrapped up in ourselves and our problems that we fail to see that God is still moving in the earth. Someone just asked “Really, God is still moving?” I answer with an emphatic YES!!! Souls are being delivered, the sick are being healed, lives are being transformed by the Spirit of God. The gospel of Jesus Christ was never about how many houses or cars one can acquire here on earth, it is and will always be about the restoration of lost souls to God. That vital relationship with God that saves us from destruction in hell and grants us access into His very presence… the Secret place of The Most High. The overflow of that relationship will impact our dominion on earth no doubt, but when the relationship ceases to be the priority and we begin to focus on the possessions, we lose – period!
I remember when I was in University, I was a member of a very vibrant group of believers. We loved The Lord wholeheartedly and served Him with passion. There was a period in my third year when I got so involved in the activities of the group, from morning till night (whenever lectures were not holding) we would be doing one thing or another. I enjoyed every minute of what I was doing – serving The Lord (…or so I thought). Soon, I began to discover that people seemed to be displeased with what I was doing. From the leaders of the group to my co-workers – nothing I did seemed to be right. There was criticism from everywhere. I wasn’t at peace, “how could he/she say that to me?”, “why do they dislike me?”, “how come no one appreciates my efforts?”, “do they know what I went through or how I struggled to get to the meeting on time?”…. Myriads of questions. I cried and prayed and bound the enemy. Then, God in His mercy (truly, it was in His mercy) sent a dear brother to speak with me. One thing he said to me (those many years ago) has never left me:
“When you feel like you’re being bombarded on every side with attacks, it is because you’ve come out of the Secret Place of the Most High!”
Wow!!! What a revelation. And it was so true! I was spending time working FOR God, I was no longer walking WITH Him. Giving Him pleasure was no longer my priority. I got caught up with pleasing everyone else at God’s expense.
I encourage us to read the whole of Psalm 91 in as many translations as you have access to. You will discover that the arrows/fiery darts of the enemy which fly by day (THEY ARE ALWAYS FLYING, SELAH!!), cannot touch you if you remain in the Secret Place.
Where is the Secret Place, you ask? You know and your heart knows where it is. More importantly, the Holy Spirit our helper, knows where it is. There is no ‘formula’ that I can prescribe for finding it or accessing it. You’ve been there before. It’s time to return.
The Message translation of verse 1 (Psalm 91) says “you who sit down in the High God’s presence, who spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow..” There is a waiting, staying, abiding in God’s presence that we must return to. It is in His presence that we receive strength, impartation, anointing – everything we need to be able to serve Him effectively and acceptably. The truth is, what we offer to Him on Friday and Sunday (or whenever we gather together) must come from what we receive from Him on every other day.
Lord, help us to abide in that place where You are. Holy Spirit, please take us in to the Holy of holies. Draw our hearts to run after You Lord. Let us again hunger for the sweetness of Your presence, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
I love you guys so much.